Management information and control system revision question and answer

A Management Information System ICT Revision Questions and Answers

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Database, also called electronic database, any collection of data, or information, that is specially organized for rapid search and retrieval a computer. Databases are structured to facilitate the storage, retrieval, modification, and deletion of data in conjunction with various data-processing operations. A database management system (DBMS) extracts information from the database in response to queries.
A database is stored as a file or a set of files on magnetic disk or tape, optical disk, or some other secondary storage device. The information in these files may be broken down into records, each of which consists of one or more fields. Fields are the basic units of data storage, and each field typically contains information pertaining to one aspect or attribute of the entity described the database. Records are also organized into tables that include information about relationships between its various fields. Although database is applied loosely to any collection of information in computer files, a database in the strict sense provides cross-referencing capabilities. Using keywords and various sorting commands, users can rapidly search, rearrange, group, and select the fields in many records to retrieve or create reports on particular aggregates of data.
Database records and files must be organized to allow retrieval of the information. Queries are the main way users retrieve database information. The power of a DBMS comes from its ability to define new relationships from the basic ones given the tables and to use them to get responses to queries. Typically, the user provides a string of characters, and the computer searches the database for a corresponding sequence and provides the source materials in which those characters appear.
The many users of a large database must be able to manipulate the information within it quickly at any given time. Moreover, large business and other organizations tend to build up many independent files containing related and even overlapping data, and their data-processing activities often require the linking of data from several files. Several different types of DBMS have been developed to support these requirements: flat, hierarchical, network, relational, and object- oriented.
Early systems were arranged sequentially (i.e., alphabetically, numerically, or chronologically); the development of direct-access storage devices made possible random access to data via indexes. In flat databases, records are organized according to a simple list of entities; many simple databases for personal computers are flat in structure. The records in hierarchical databases are organized in a treelike structure, with each level of records branching off into a set of smaller categories. Unlike hierarchical databases, which provide single links between sets of records at different levels, network databases create multiple linkages between sets placing links, or pointers, to one set of records in another; the speed and versatility of network databases have led to their wide use within businesses and in e-commerce. Relational databases are used where

associations between files or records cannot be expressed links; a simple flat list becomes one row of a table, or ―relation,‖ and multiple relations can be mathematically associated to yield desired information. Various iterations of SQL (Structured Query Language) are widely employed in DBMS for relational databases. Object-oriented databases store and manipulate more complex data structures, called ―objects,‖ which are organized into hierarchical classes that may inherit properties from classes higher in the chain; this database structure is the most flexible and adaptable.

The information in many databases consists of natural-language texts of documents; number- oriented databases primarily contain information such as statistics, tables, financial data, and raw scientific and technical data. Small databases can be maintained on personal-computer systems and may be used individuals at home. These and larger databases have become increasingly important in business life, in part because they are now commonly designed to be integrated with other office software, including spreadsheet programs.
Typical commercial database applications include airline reservations, production management functions, medical records in hospitals, and legal records of insurance companies. The largest databases are usually maintained governmental agencies, business organizations, and universities. These databases may contain texts of such materials as abstracts, reports, legal statutes, wire services, newspapers and journals, encyclopedias, and catalogs of various kinds. Reference databases contain bibliographies or indexes that serve as guides to the location of information in books, periodicals, and other published literature. Thousands of these publicly accessible databases now exist, covering topics ranging from law, medicine, and engineering to news and current events, games, classified advertisements, and instructional courses.

Increasingly, formerly separate databases are being combined electronically into larger collections known as data warehouses. Businesses and government agencies then employ ―data mining‖ software to analyze multiple aspects of the data for various patterns. For example, a government agency might flag for human investigation a company or individual that purchased a suspicious quantity of certain equipment or materials, even though the purchases were spread around the country or through various subsidiaries.

a.         Product development and Product Planning       (Old Syllabus December 2010)(5 Marks) Answer :

SN Product Development Product Planning
1 It is the process of analyzing a possible opportunity for a new product and evaluating preferred specifications and probable market success It is the process of providing system for marketing management with packaging, promotion, pricing and style recommendations throughout the life of



2 The product development process is carried out based upon the information that is obtained from

the customer

It provides information to the sales activity about sales strategies, and the feedback to the sales forecasting
3 While developing the product, all the information will be gather form all concern stake holders and it will be shared among engineering and

pricing departments

Product planning also decides what new products will be introduced and passes along information about this to the new product development system

c. Hardware evaluation criteria
(Old syllabus, December 2011)(5 Marks) (Old Syllabus December 2012)( 5 Marks)
a) To evaluate and select hardware organizations typically:
• Require suppliers to present bids and proposals based on system specifications developed during the design stage of systems development.
• Establish minimum acceptable physical and performance characteristics for all hardware requirements.
• Government agencies and most large businesses use a document called an RFP (request for proposal) or RFQ (request for quotation), which lists all the required specifications.
• When several competing proposals for hardware acquisition need to be evaluated, a scoring system may be used, giving a numerical score for each of several evaluation factors. Each competing proposal is assigned points for each factor, depending on how well it meets the specifications of the computer user.
• Hardware should be demonstrated and evaluated.
• Using special benchmark test programs and test data to evaluate proposed hardware. Special software simulators may also be available that simulate the processing of typical jobs on several computers and evaluate their performances.
• Other users are frequently the best source of information needed to evaluate the claims of manufacturers and suppliers. Good example: Internet newsgroups.

When evaluating computer hardware, you should investigate specific physical and performance characteristics for each hardware component to be acquired. This is true whether you are evaluating mainframes, microcomputers, or peripheral devices. Hardware evaluation factors include:
• Performance
• Cost
• Reliability
• Compatibility

• Technology
• Ergonomics
• Connectivity
• Scalability
• Software
• Support

d. Snapshot Technique (June 2011)(5 Marks) Snapshot is a technique to obtain a records flow or processing of designated transactions through different logic paths within programs and helps in program logic verification at a particular time or situation. It is used as a system testing tool and also as a concurrent audit tool that examines the way the transactions are processed marking and recording selected transactions with a special code. An extensive knowledge of the information systems environment is required for its effective use.

e. IT strategy planning. (December 2012)(5 Marks)
A plan is a predetermined course of action to be taken in the future. It is a document containing the details of how the action will be executed, and it is made against a time scale. The goats and the objectives that a plan is supposed to achieve are the pre-requisites of plan. The setting of the goals and the objectives is the primary task of the Management without which planning cannot begin.
Planning involves a chain of decisions, one dependent on the other, since it deals with a long term period. A successful implementation of a plan means the execution of these decisions in a right manner one after another.
Planning, in terms of future, can be long-range or short-range. Long-range planning is for a period of five years or more, while short-range planning is for one year at the most. The long-range planning is more concerned about the business as a whole, and deals with subjects like the growth and the rate of growth, the direction of business, establishing some position in the business world way of a corporate image, a business share and so on. On the other hand, short-range planning is more concerned with the attainment of the business results of the year. It could also be in terms of action certain business tasks, such as launching of a new product, starting a manufacturing facility, completing the project, achieving intermediate milestones on the way to the attainment of goals. The goals relate to long-term planning and the objectives relate to the short-term planning. There is a hierarchy of objectives which together take the company to the attainment of goals. The plans, therefore, relate to the objectives when they are short-range and to goals when they are the long-range.
Long-range planning deals with resource selection, its acquisition and allocation. It deals with the technology and not with the methods or the procedures. It talks about the strategy of achieving the goals. The right strategy improves the chances of success tremendously. At the same time, a wrong strategy means a failure in achieving the goals.

Corporate business planning deals with the corporate business goals and objectives. The business may be a manufacturing or a service; it may deal with the industry or trade; may operate in a public or a private sector; may be national or international business. Corporate business planning is a necessity in all cases. Though the corporate business planning deals with a company, its universe is beyond the company. The corporate business plan considers the world trends in the business, the industry, the technology, the international markets, the national priorities, the competitors, the business plans, the corporate strengths and the weaknesses for preparing a corporate plan. Planning, therefore, is a complex exercise of steering the company through the complexities, the difficulties, the inhibitions and the uncertainties towards the attainment of goals and objectives.

f. Object Oriented Design (December 2012)(5 Marks)
An object contains encapsulated data and procedures grouped together to represent an entity. The ‘object interface’, how the object can be interacted with, is also defined. An object-oriented program is described the interaction of these objects. Object-oriented design is the discipline of defining the objects and their interactions to solve a problem that was identified and documented during object-oriented analysis.
During object-oriented design (OOD), a developer applies implementation constraints to the conceptual model produced in object-oriented analysis. Such constraints could include not only constraints imposed the chosen architecture but also any non-functional – technological or environmental – constraints, such as transaction throughput, response time, run-time platform, development environment, or those inherent in the programming language. Concepts in the analysis model are mapped onto implementation classes and interfaces resulting in a model of the solution domain, i.e., a detailed description of how the system is to be built.

g. Software Reliability (December 2012)(5 Marks) Software reliability is defined as the probability of failure-free operation of a software system for a specified time in a specified environment.
• Key elements of the above definition
• Probability of failure-free operation
• Length of time of failure-free operation
• A given execution environment

The probability that a PC in a store is up and running for eight hours without crash is 0.99.

Failure intensity is a measure of the reliability of a software system operating in a given environment.Example: An air traffic control system fails once in two years.
The first puts emphasis on MTTF, whereas the second on count.
A user‘s perception of the reliability of software depends upon two categories of information.

• The number of faults present in the software.
• The ways users operate the system.
• This is known as the operational profile.
• The fault count in a system is influenced the following.
• Size and complexity of code
• Characteristics of the development process used
• Education, experience, and training of development personnel
• Operational environment

h. Role of IT in business development (June 2017)(5 Marks) Modern businesses are influenced different factors for their smooth operation, profitability and overall success. Having all the necessary information in a properly managed, easily accessible and secure way is the most critical factor to have a competitive business operation. From HR management to business transactions, from supply chain management to accounting and finance, from decision support system to operational transaction processing automation, quick, precise and timely availability of information is the key for success. All this can be achieved only when there is a good deployment, management, operation of IT facilities in the organization. Modern organizations cannot even imagine of operating without computerized system for almost every aspect of the business activities, both internal and external to the organization. So, in short, IT has a pivotal and critical role in modern business organization. Hence, every successful business organization is powered well-designed, timely and efficient use of Information Technology and its facilities

i. Project management (December 2014)(5 Marks)
A project is a temporary sequence of unique, complex, and connected activities that have one goal or purpose and that must be completed on time, within budget, and according to specification.
To ensure that the project meets the deadline, is developed within an acceptable budget, and fulfills customer expectations and specifications, effective project management is necessary.
A Project management is the process of scoping, planning, estimating, scheduling, organizing, scheduling, directing, controlling and closing the development of an acceptable system at minimum cost within a specified time frame.
• Scoping – Scope defines the boundaries of the project. A project manager must scope project expectations and constraints in order to plan activities, estimate cost, and manage expectations.
• Planning – It identifies the tasks required to complete the project.
• Estimating – Each task must be estimated. The estimating issues include: cost and time requirement, number of people needed, skills needed, priority of tasks, and overlapping tasks.

• Scheduling – Given the project plan, the project manager is responsible for scheduling all project activities. The project schedule should be developed with an understanding of the required tasks, task duration, and task prerequisites.
• Organizing – The project manager should make sure that members of the project team understand their own roles and responsibilities as well as their reporting relationship to the project manager.
• Directing – Once the project has begun, the project manager must supervise the team‘s activities. Every project manager must have people management skills to coordinate, delegate, motivate, advice, appraise, and reward team members.
• Controlling – The project manager must monitor and report progress against goals, schedule, and cost and make appropriate adjustment in case of problem.
• Closing – Project managers always assess successes and failures at the conclusion of project. They learn from their mistakes and plan for continuous improvement of the systems development process.

j. Economic feasibility( June 2013)(5 Marks)
Economic Feasibility: It includes an evaluation of all the incremental costs and benefits expected if the proposed system is implemented. This is the most difficult aspect of the study. The financial and economic questions raised analysts during the preliminary investigation are for the purpose of estimating the following:
a. The cost of conducting a full systems investigation.
b. The cost of hardware and software for the class of applications being considered.
c. The benefits in the form of reduced costs or fewer costly errors.
d. The cost if nothing changes (i.e., the proposed system is not developed)
e. The procedure employed is the traditional cost-benefit study.

k. Consultant level role of IT professional( June 2013)(5 Marks)
Consultant level role is perhaps the highest and most abstract role of IT professional in an organization. Such roles are normally short term, highly focused, well-defined and limited to a particular project or task. Because of such focused responsibility, consultants are supposed to be top experts in that particular area and capable to provide important suggestions and counsel to the organization in the pre-defined time frame. Consultants are normally hired at the design or deployment stages of the information system. Consultant at the design stage normally provides information related to the system design aspects such as feasibility, architectural layout, development plans etc. A consultant working at the deployment phase provides inputs to the implementation team to enable them to make timely and effective deployment while keeping in mind the expected goals of the system. Consultant level role hence normally involves a critical study of the process and system and presentation of constructive ideas and suggestions to the major

stakeholders of the system being designed, developed or deployed. Consultants may also be hired in cases where a system needs to be discontinued and replaced a new one.

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